On The Fly...

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New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey is worried FAA budget cuts will hurt aviation in the state. McGreevey wrote President Bush asking him to explain just how the system is supposed to absorb triple the flights in the next 20 years with $400 million less in equipment spending approved for 2005 and a shortage of qualified air traffic controllers looming...

The Australian pilot of a civilian helicopter died in Afghanistan Sunday after his aircraft was sprayed with machine-gun fire, likely from Taliban rebels. Officials said the pilot was hit as he was taking off about 60 miles from Kandahar. Two others on board were injured. The helicopter is owned by the Louis Berger Group, a U.S. construction company...

A gear failure can happen to anyone; just ask the crew of an FAA King Air that had to slide along the runway at Oklahoma City on Thursday after the right mains wouldn't come down. The local TV station captured what it called a textbook landing on video. No one was hurt but the plane was substantially damaged, according to the, ahem, FAA incident report...

Creators of the Gulfstream 550 ultra-long-range bizjet have won the Collier Trophy for 2003. The prize is given each year by the National Aeronautic Association for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics in the United States with respect to improving the performance, efficiency or safety of air or space vehicles." In addition to the 6,750-nm range, the plane also has an enhanced vision system.